Lego Marvel Super HeroesOverview -
Developer Traveller's Tales has been creating license-based Lego video games for several years now, and I've been a fan since the beginning. From 'Harry Potter' to 'Star Wars', 'Pirates of the Caribbean' and 'Indiana Jones', it has become difficult to not associate the Lego logo without fond gaming memories. Their latest offering – 'Lego Marvel Super Heroes' – is unquestionably the culmination of their years of experience developing video games. Embarking on a journey that spans decades of memorable characters and plotlines, Traveller's Tales jumps headfirst into the Marvel Universe. Due to the tricky nature of contracts, 'Lego Marvel Super Heroes' is one of the few places where the Marvel Universe can truly be represented. (2009's 'Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2' would seem to be the last of its franchise.) Add in the power of Lego, and it is with an air of confidence that Traveller's Tales asks players to experience the combination of Lego and Marvel.
Available across PC, console, and handheld devices, this review is based on my playthrough of 'Lego Marvel Super Heroes' on the PlayStation 4. And let me be the first to say that a Lego game has never look better or played smoother. The minute details of the individual Lego blocks and the quick build animations continue to impress with 'Lego Marvel Super Heroes.'
Adding to this, Traveller's Tales flexes their animation muscle with some nicely rendered set pieces and environmental effects. Of special note is the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier that players use as a mission hub and spend a fair amount of time on. From a distance the menacing aircraft looks more at home with a blockbuster sci-fi epic than the more comedic Lego adventure. Water effects are also nicely represented and quite believable as Iron Man flies mere feet above the surface. Visually, the Lego games continue to impress, and the improved hardware of the PlayStation 4 provides a solid frame rate to accommodate for the larger, more chaotic, battles that ensue.
When Traveller's Tales made the leap from pantomime to full voice-over it catapulted their games to an entirely new level of comedic finesse, and 'Lego Marvel Super Heroes' does not disappoint. Even with a staggering amount of main and supporting characters, the slapstick humor that the Lego games have been synonymous with since making that change in development never takes a break. I'm still laughing at some of the Hulk's comments about Wolverine's facial hair.
In general, the voice actors do a wonderful job of capturing their particular character and bringing them to life. While most of the voices you hear might sound vaguely familiar, fans of the latest 'Avengers' movie or 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' television series will immediately recognize Clark Gregg as the voice of the character he has since made famous – Agent Phil Coulson. He is the dry-humored voice of reason, consistently helping you through the game. It was the icing on the cake.
Traveller's Tales has been creating Lego games for a long time now. They have found a formula that works exceptionally well and continue to breath life into a genre that is mostly looked down upon – the licensed videogame. With each new offering I continue to find improvements and more reasons to tap into my inner Lego spirit. Although I continue to hold out hope for the much-needed option of online co-op, I remain generally satisfied to enjoy their games the good old-fashioned way – on the couch with a friend or family member. 'Lego Marvel Super Heroes' is a treat for gamers of all ages and is sure to impress even the most finicky of Marvel fans. In a gaming landscape that tends to be oversaturated with bleak and apocalyptic story arcs, 'Lego Marvel Super Heroes' is a ray of sunshine that is certain to warm the heart and remind you that video games are meant to be fun.
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